Bentonville Public Schools no longer allows birthday invites to be passed out at school. This measure was enacted for the safety of the students. Additionally, teachers cannot share parent information with other parents. This means that even homeroom helpers are not privy to contact information. Are you overwhelmed with disclosing your contact information on form after form? This is why. PTO cannot contact you unless you have signed a certain form. You cannot be listed in the Member Directory unless you have completed a separate form. Homeroom helpers often create forms to share contact information- this too must be completed in addition to the form that is sent home by the teacher. Teachers often use their own forms separate from the school to obtain best contact information. And yes, the school has its own form collecting your contact information. So, that is at least 5 forms asking for essentially the same information, because the author of the form cannot share it with the authors of the other forms.
While most forms are optional, here is a scenario that happened last year:
“I sent out a form as the homeroom helper asking parents for contact information and whether I could disclose it to other class parents. I received 7 forms out of 25 children. In the next two months, I received 3 requests for the parent contact list as they had upcoming birthdays they wished to invite classmates to. I notified the class about this dilemma on the class Facebook page, and…nearly all forms were returned, but it was too late for the 3 parents to have the information requested. I just hope their children had other friends they were able to invite.”
Another thing to remember- a parent commented last year that their child sent out invites (don’t ask us how!) and didn’t hear back from anyone. They assumed at least some would show. None did. RSVP’s truly do matter!
AND if you don’t want to disclose your information- that’s perfectly okay! There are other ways to get in touch. Volunteer, meet other parents at PTO events and exchange contact information one on one. Parents also often create facebook groups just for certain groups within Central Park (by class and by grade).